’Spider-Man: No Way Home’ review: Dir. Jon Watts [Alternative Christmas]

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the remote reaches of the world you will know that Spider-Man: No Way Home has just arrived into cinemas. The film forms the third part of director Jon Watts’ Spider-Man trilogy and sees the latest iteration of Peter Parker, Tom Holland, traverse the multiverse after one of Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) spells goes awry. The previous chapter, Spider-Man: Far From Home, ended with Peter’s identity being revealed as the man behind the spider mask, and as this latest story begins the weight of this information being in the public domain leaves him craving anonymity once more. However, he soon finds his trouble quadrupled after the multiverse tumbles into chaos and he finds himself fighting not only his own enemies, but also those connected to fellow Spider-Men across other universes. 

Surviving all the way to a viewing of Spider-Man: No Way Home without glimpsing any spoilers is practically a superhero talent all in itself. With studio leaks, an aggressive marketing strategy, and some spoiler-heavy reviews in the world, making it into the cinema with a clean sheet is an almost impossible challenge. But should you manage this incredible task you will be rewarded with some pure cinema magic. This is the kind of film that was made for not only cinema, but for a full cinema screen of viewers. There’s an electricity that flows through the audience and several key moments in my screening were met with rapturous applause and screaming – proof that the power of cinema is still alive and well. 

Spider-Man is a character that has been recast and rebooted almost as often as Batman. Sam Raimi’s original trilogy, which began in 2002, paved the way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, proving that there was an appetite for a more serious attempt at the superhero movie. The three films performed incredibly well, but rather than grant Raimi a fourth film, the character was shelved. It wasn’t until 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man that the webslinger returned to screens, but this time his adventures were cut short after just two outings. Then in 2017, audiences were introduced to a new era of the hero, one who slotted into the now established MCU. With a character so fractured and scattered across so many years, each audience member has their own favourite version and by playing the multiverse Watts is afforded the opportunity to play in one of the largest sandboxes there is and serves up plenty for fans of all multiverse versions of the historic icon to revel in. 

The epic one-hundred and forty-eight minute runtime flashes by in the blink of an eye. Watts stuffs so much in that there is never the opportunity for clock-watching and whilst the narrative is a little light to generate maximum space for fan service, it truly is the Spider-Man film fans have been waiting a lifetime for. Easily the best Spidey outing since Spider-Man 2, go in as cold as you can and enjoy the epic and emotional rollercoaster ride through a multiverse of movies.  

A breakneck jaunt through the multiverse that pays homage to everything that fans have seen and experienced before, Spider-Man: No Way Home is exactly the type of movie that cinemas need right now, and the perfect Christmas gift for fans.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is in UK cinemas now. 

This review first appeared on THN.